Review: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

Drunk Dial
by Penelope Ward

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

 

I’m ugly crying right now while writing this review.  Yes, I do sound crazy because of that, but hear me out.  I can’t simply stop the tears from falling after reading and learning everything about Landon and Rana Banana’s pretty darn exotic and magnificent love story.
 

From drunk dialing to spewing a long time childhood secret; from belly dancing to food truck serving; from nightly phone calls to love notes, to interstate gift exchanges;  from Michigan to California, from the food truck to the hometown garage, from the ocean music box to the wine stopper, from spy cameras to Rubik’s cube, from Shyla to Beverly,  from Beth to Lilith, from Lana to God,  everything everything everything was perfectly magnificent!
 

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever meet a man like Landon,  he’s just too good to be true!  Lucky Ranoona Banana Saloomi, she’s got him on her palm and never letting go. I think I need to learn belly dancing from her from now on!

Have I already mentioned that their erotic scenes were hot, sexy, smoldering and provocative and titillating that could put Anastasia Steele to shame? You better believe it!
 

This story is beautiful,  from the moment Rana drunk dialed her crush,  to reading his love notes,  I was sold.  Everything that followed after that made me smile,  laugh, gag,  roll my eyes, bite my lips,  hold my breath and cry a thousand rivers. I didn’t realize Penelope Ward will have that effect on me. Great job,  Sassypants!

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Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone
by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

Emily always thought Sloane would forever be by her side. They’re best friends, they did things together, they share secrets, they had each other’s back. And so she was more than mystified and alarmed the day she learned that Sloane was gone – vanished, not answering her calls, not replying to her emails and text messages, no car in the porch, no one loitering in their house. Nothing, nada, zilch.

And then the list came. A list that told Emily of things she was supposed to do while Sloane was away, while she was gone. But Emily had always been the odd one out, the naive, the timid one. She could never be as bold as Sloane, she didn’t even have self-confidence to start with. How will Emily ever move on with her life now that Sloane is nowhere to be found?

When I first heard about this book, I was actually more concerned with Sloane’s well-being. I thought, hey! Why is the list more important than finding Sloane first? Weren’t they concerned about her whereabouts? I really thought she disappeared because she was kidnapped or something. I thought this was going to be a mystery thriller.

But when I finally delved into the whole book, all my initial thoughts were dashed off and now I’m left in awe. This had been really exciting and funny and warm with all the feels. Frank Porter was the perfect person to help Emily with her bucket list. I love that their interaction started from awkward to friendship to something else. But I also love that this story didn’t focus on their love story, but more on Emily’s self-discovery. And her relationship with Sloane was definitely #friendshipgoals. I love that even while Sloane was gone, Emily slowly unraveled and resolved her differences.

I sure had a lot of thinking done about my own bucket list after reading this book. Right after I graduated in college, I already wrote some items that I wanted to accomplish as a non-academic. Like travelling around the world particularly Japan, meeting Oprah, joining a reality show, writing a book, hobnobbing with Hollywood stars, and the like.. Yes, everything I listed were nowhere near possible. But a girl can dream, can’t I?

Overall, I had so much fun reading Since You’ve Been Gone. Sure, it took me a while to finish it, but it’s all worth it. Morgan Matson’s writing is amazing, enticing, engaging and alluring. She has a way with words that keep the readers captivated. Never had a dull moment reading about Emily’s bucket list adventures – I am actually revising my own list so I could do some of the things she’d done. Skinny dipping? Definitely including that on my list and looking forward to doing it soon!

Review: Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

Royally Endowed
(Royally #3)
by Emma Chase

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to call him hers.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

 

Royally Endowed is the final book in this royal Emma Chase series and it was so lit! Bubbly and sweet and hilarious Ellie is amazing. She’s really the heart and soul of the Royally series, if I may say so. How she acts, talks, daydreams, sucks lemon and stares at Logan, everything about her is simply adorable. She’s like a bouncing ball of energy, an energizer bunny that can go on and on; like a ticking time bomb, once ignited, she hits the sky and whistles and explodes with the stars like fireworks. No wonder Logan St. James is attracted to her right from the start.

Ahh yes, Logan St. James is freaking sizzling Alpha and hot as the fires in Hades’ Underworld! He can totally consume me with just one look. I can’t blame Ellie for wanting to touch this man so bad! I mean, he can be super protective and gentle at the same time, with his dimples softening his hardened look. I thought he was such a force, with all the wonderful, sometimes repugnant things he’d done for the Royalty – punching the jaw of that jerk’s jaw after that said jerk slapped Ellie on a date, waking up Ellie’s drunken father out of his stupor (literally and figuratively), dealing with his crook of a family, crying at Tommy’s hospital bedside… (shall I go on….?)

Okay, basically, he’s everything I ever want in a guy. He’ll do everything for the Royal family and will not hesitate to cry in the rain when Ellie goes missing after a fire. Gosh, that scene was my favorite, even if it was short-lived.

Ellie and Logan’s relationship isn’t as smooth as silk. Theirs was a slow-burn type of romance that frizzled throughout the years. The odds are against them, given their status as the royal guard and the princess’ sister. But like what they always say if there’s a will, there’s a will. And boy what a turbulent journey it has been. I think they’re now my favorite Royal couple in the entire series. (Sorry Prince Henry, I still adore you though).

Anyway, speaking of Henry, it was really nice to see how the Royal family fared after Nicholas relinquished his title and Prince Henry found the one who would be his Queen. I loved that their lives still mingled with Ellie’s and Logan, giving meaning to their stature and hierarchy. That stalker / death threat topic was brilliant and bloody genius.

Emma Chase once again wowed me with this story and mostly relatable characters. Logan was written in such a way that you can’t help but fall for his broken stature and defensive stance. I felt drawn to him from the beginning and I was left in awe at the end. The Wessco Royals may have ruined me, but the loyal guard royally ravaged me. Truly one of the best I’ve read this year! Cheers!

Review: Fallen Heir (Royals 4) by Erin Watt

Fallen Heir
(The Royals #4)
by Erin Watt

These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

I can’t remember who recommended Paper Princess to me a year ago. Honestly, I thought it was just one of those YA reads that I would soon forget when I get to finish it. But when I finally met the Royals and Ella Harper, I was surprisingly drawn to them and never wanted to let go. For the next two sequels, I became engrossed in their world, entangled in the controversies and scandals of the Royal family and became involved with the students of Astor Park.

I devoured each and every page of Paper Princess, Broken Prince and Twisted Palace. And now, it’s Easton Royal’s turn in the Fallen Heir. And boy, what a rollercoaster ride this had been.

The day I got the ARC for Fallen Heir, it was 5:30 am and I literally fell from my bed when I saw it on my Kindle. I couldn’t stop myself from reading it even though I’ve got tons of paper work and deadlines to attack. When a Royal fell into my lap, I made sure he becomes a priority. And so Easton did.

I finally got inside Easton’s head, the seemingly happy-go-lucky son of Callum Royal, the easy-going brother of Reed and Ella’s super adorable male bestfriend. He had ladies waiting at his beck and call, even teachers couldn’t resist him. But there was one girl who didn’t bat her eyelashes at him. She intrigued him. She wasn’t as gorgeous as his sister Ella, but she definitely got something going on with her. Her name is Hartley Wright, mysterious, studios, upright and uptight; and she might just be the right one Easton had been looking for.

Or so he thought.

The wonder twins were also back, Lauren milking them or getting her fill with the twin Royals. I really hate Lauren here, I wanna throw her outside the mansion. And Felicity Worthington (gosh, I remember her name is similar to Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series) I really really hate that girl. She’s nothing but a tyrant wanting power above all else. And yes, I don’t like my namesake, Claire, too. Ugh.. This girls were even more annoying than Steve and Dinah combined in book 3!

But overall, let me say that This. Is. The Bomb!

I don’t know how to vocalize or express how I feel about this book. It feels like I’m at a losing end of my insanity. But it was really fun reading Easton’s POV, I got to know him better and deeper everytime he opened his mouth. Sure, he was kind of obnoxious and conceited and egotistical, but deep within him was a heart that knew how to care and love.

That ending though! Super unexpected. My mouth was literally hanging open when that explosive cliffhanger careened towards me and crashed!! Nooooooo!!!!!

As much as I want to scream and comfort Easton Royal, I can’t. My emotions are all out of place. I think I’m gonna cry. Erin Watt, why do you do this to me, to us? To Easton? WHY!!! Can’t wait for 2018! I need the freaking next book now!

Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

The Air He Breathes (Elements #1)
by Brittainy C. Cherry

I was warned about Tristan Cole. “Stay away from him,” people said. “He’s cruel.” “He’s cold.” “He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster. But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him, because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty. We were both looking for something else. Something more. We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays. Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Tristan Cole lost everything in a blink of an eye. And he wasn’t even there when it happened. After saying goodbye, he struggled to live, but he never did survive the memories and pain that plagued his heart. Death stole his loved ones. Death stole his life. Death stole his breath.

“the dark days only stayed dark until the sun came up.” 

Elizabeth Bailey and her daughter were barely breathing. A year after her husband died, Elizabeth went back to Meadow’s Creek to start over, but she didn’t really want to move on. Everywhere she looked, she wished Steven was there, to hold her hand, to sleep beside her, to take her into his arms again.

“Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.” 

An angry Tristan met the lonely Elizabeth in the most awkward moments. A trip to the vet, a lawnmower screaming like banshee, grass clippings, magical library, lumberjack beard and feathers – it was all too much to these two scarred souls. He was the town asshole and she was the topic of gossipers all over the town. People talk behind their backs, but they didn’t have a single clue about the miseries they’d been going through.

He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm. 

Together they screamed and conquered their demons. Together they worked to live and relive their dead ones’ memories. Together they strive to move on but couldn’t move forward. Together they fell in love, but divided they fell out.

Brittainy Cherry made me cry again. I’ve read some of her previous books and I can’t count the number of times I sobbed and wailed like a child. Now, I cried an ocean for Tristan and Elizabeth and I cried another ocean for darling little Emma. My heart is full of emotions and I don’t know how to sort them out.

You know the feeling when you can’t let go of a book because it captivated you right from the start. The kind of book you can’t seem to put down because you’re afraid to let go of the characters and the emotions running through your heart. The kind of book that makes you forget about your household chores because you can’t pass up the opportunity to smile and wallow with the characters and anticipate what happens next. The kind of book that makes your heart beat faster, eyes sting and water, chest constrict with anguish, despair and hope.

The hardest part about losing someone you love is the fact that you also lose yourself.

This is that kind of book. The Air He Breathes is absolutely beautiful. It has everything I want, all the good, the bad and the ugly. I could spend the next two hours crying all over again but I won’t regret it. Because this was simply, absolutely beautiful. Crazy, heartwarmingly beautiful, scars and all.

“As long as air moves in and out of my lungs … as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.” 

“You’re beautiful. You’re a beautiful, broken kind of monster.” 

Review: Bucket List to Love by CP Santi

Bucket List To Love
by C.P. Santi

Aya Contreras is thrilled to be studying in the land of sakura and sushi. Tokyo is a fascinating city to live in—vending machines, cosplayers, karaoke boxes, and bright, colorful conbinis on every corner. And the architectural design program she’s in is everything she dreamed it to be.
The only problem? Her tutor doesn’t seem to like her.
Well, she doesn’t like him very much either. Sure, Ryohei Mori is talented, and there’s no denying he’s hot. But he’s also a surly, bossy know-it-all who eats too many cookies.
Another annoying thing about him is he’s nosy. And when he stumbles upon the crazy bucket list Aya’s sisters forced on her, he teases her mercilessly about it.
But when their professor pairs them up for a design competition, things get . . . interesting. Fueled by beer and a whole lot of cookies, can Aya and Ryo cross out some items on her bucket list without killing each other? Or will they realize there’s much more to each other than they’d originally thought?

Aya had just broken up with her boyfriend of six years when she discovered something about him. A study grant to Japan was just the thing she needed to forget about her broken heart. Afraid to fall in love again, Aya tried hard to steer clear of temptations, but her hot and gorgeous tutor made it impossible to do so. Add the bucket list that her meddling but sweet sisters insisted for her to do, it was only a matter of time before Aya found herself falling in love under the Meiji Shrine.

When I learned about this latest story by CP Santi, I knew I had to read it. The book gave me all the feels! I felt like I was watching a J-Drama with MatsuJun as the male lead and the characters came alive with the wonderful storyline, friendly banters, beautiful sceneries and that exciting bucket list.

I enjoyed the way Ryo and Aya’s relationship developed. Not forced, not dictated. I couldn’t help but smile and grin at them, I actually looked like a fool while reading A Bucket List to Love. Ryo Mori was such a darling.

What I really loved most was how Japan was beautifully depicted and narrated by the author. So amazing! I know a thing or two about Japanese culture but I’ve never been to the Land of the Rising Sun. I’ve always been fascinated with anything related to Japan. JPop, JDrama, you name it, I can handle it. (A big fan of Arashi here!). And the author made me want to go there soon. In my opinion, Japan is one of the best countries to visit or live in the world.

Overall, I thought this was a well written book with reasonably well pacing that reminded what it was like when I was in college. CP Santi has always bedazzled me with her tales and feel-good love stories. I am so stinking in love with her. Plus, I got to read and finish her book during her birthday, which made this story really special.

I don’t know about you, but this book just moved right to my top ten all-time favorite books list. I can’t recommend it enough. This is a book I’m definitely going to re-read someday.

 

Review: Royally Matched by Emma Chase

Royally Matched (Royally #2)
by Emma Chase

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

 

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Omg, my heart..i never cried for a royal before. Ever. Until I met Prince Henry..

Two weeks ago, I read Royally Screwed by Emma Chase and found Prince Nicholas quite the man. I thought he was the best thing that’s happened to a royal.. Honest, funny, charming, crazy in love. But when dashing prince Henry came to the rescue, life became even more exciting and fun!

In Royally Screwed, Prince Nicholas relinquished his title to Prince Henry and deep inside, I thought that was a big move, a big leap of faith. The mighty prince brought to his knees by a commoner. I thought that was so sweet.

 

In Royally Matched, Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook took his responsibilities in stride, not really serious in politicking and matters of the crown. Until a reality TV show got him chasing skirts of royal blood. A non-disclosure agreement was all he needed to sign and all the pretty girls would be frolicking his bedroom at night.

If only everything about reality TV were true.

Lady Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Titebottum had this fear of public speaking. She would never dream of facing a hundred people and talking to them in public. No, she would rather hide in her nook and read Jane Austen novels than do the project that was assigned to her by her boss. But when a TV producer came knocking at their door and convinced her sister Penelope to join Matched: The Royal Edition, Sarah Titebottum agreed to chaperone her sister and fulfill her Act of Royalty instead of getting back to work.

If only she could get around the Royal Prince and dodge his every move. But when Henry met Sarah, he was intrigued by her. He wanted to discover everything about her, what made her tick, what books she read, what she wore underneath her black gothic dress. What he didn’t anticipate was him slowly falling for this timid, mysterious royal and willing to forget everything just to hold her tight and protect her from the villains of the world.

In the grand scheme of things, this reality TV show should solve all Prince Henry’s quest for a future Queen. But in the end, getting royally matched was the last thing he could ever hope for.

I love, love, love Prince Henry, and I would do everything for him. ‘Cause all of me loves all of him, all his curves and all his edges, all his perfect imperfections…. (I made you sing, didn’t I?)

“No, you don’t understand—”
“I understand perfectly. What you don’t seem to comprehend is that Sarah is my best friend. The only one I’ve got. I’m not fucking helping you. Piss off, Princess.”
He turns to walk away.
And I shout, “She’s hurt!”
That makes him pause mid-step, his back stiffening.
“I haven’t just made her angry, I’ve hurt her terribly. She’s still hurting . . . and I can’t stand it, Willard.” My hands find their way into my hair.
I move in front of him, bending my knees to catch his eyes, which seems quite apropos.
“Help me make it better. Not for me, but for her. Please.”

Sarah’s love for books gently rubbed on Henry and I thought that was so sweet. I am all for a guy who knows how to appreciate the written words, the texture of books, the smell of pages. Ahhh, it’s divine.

“The only thing that smells better than a new book is an old one.”
I put the book down.
“This isn’t it. She’d want a book that’s been read—dog-eared and held and sighed over—not one that’s been caged in glass its whole life. She’ll want one that’s been loved.”
Ever so slowly, Willard smiles. “There’s hope for you yet.”

Their slow burn romance got me really giddy and hopeful. I was dreamy eyed every time Henry comforted Sarah. I was in a roller-coaster of emotions whenever Sarah went catatonic. I was tickled to the bones when Henry spurt words I could only her from Casanova’s mouth.

I would give up a crown for her. I would give up my name, my title—I would trade my country, forfeit my birthright, lie, kill, cheat, and steal, for this. For her.

“If anything happens to you, I’ll die. I’m not exaggerating.” My voice is strangled and wetness trickles from my eyes and I don’t give a damn. “You are woven into my soul and you are wrapped around my heart. And if anything happens to you, both will wither and die and I won’t even care.”

The ending…

It may be quite expected, but it was definitely off-the-charts romantic. Absolutely up on my alley. I swoon and sighed and smiled and swoon again. Could this be love?

Emma Chase, I love you too… Please don’t stop writing royal stories and romances, okay?

 

P. S.

 

 

I  buddy read  this  awesome book  with  my  book  club gal, Blessie aka iBlessth13th, of  Mischievous Reads...